Sept 23 (Reuters) - Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC asked
federal regulators for permission to resume construction on the
$5.4-$5.7 billion pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia by
Mountain Valley said that would allow it to complete as many
activities as possible before winter, according to a filing with
the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) late on
FERC suspended work on Mountain Valley in October 2019 due
to litigation over the project's Biological Opinion from the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which allows the project
to work in areas inhabited by endangered and threatened species.
The FWS issued a new Biological Opinion in early September.
Analysts at ClearView Energy Partners said on Wednesday they
expect FERC will allow Mountain Valley to resume construction
even though some environmental groups and others will oppose the
return to work and the new Biological Opinion.
U.S. pipeline company Equitrans Midstream Corp, one
of the partners in Mountain Valley, said in early September it
expects the pipeline to enter service in early 2021.
Mountain Valley is one of several U.S. oil and gas pipelines
delayed by regulatory and legal fights with environmental and
local groups that found problems with federal permits issued by
the Trump administration.
In February 2018, when Equitrans started construction of the
303-mile (488-km) pipeline designed to deliver 2 billion cubic
feet per day of gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale, it
estimated Mountain Valley would cost about $3.5 billion and be
completed by the end of 2018.
Equitrans has said it expects to receive new approvals soon
from FERC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that will enable
it to finish building the last 8% of the project.
Mountain Valley is owned by units of Equitrans, NextEra
Energy Inc, Consolidated Edison Inc, AltaGas Ltd
and RGC Resources Inc.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Tom Brown)